As part of ongoing efforts to realise the new Faculty of Science building - LAB42 - the UvA has appointed a site management and supervision team charged with overseeing the entire implementation process. Michel van Gageldonk - project manager at BOAG Advies en Management - is currently in the middle of intensive preparations for the construction phase.
Van Gageldonk is working to make sure all agreements with the client have been incorporated in the design and checking the planning schedule for feasibility. He will also be monitoring the process quality.
As Van Gageldonk explains, the preparation phase is crucial. The design and project team, which also includes future building users, meets every two weeks to flesh out every last detail of the design.
'Everything needs to be just right, from the number of wall sockets and rooms, to safety requirements, to the data and power supplies.' The design will serve as a basis for the specifications, which include all documents used by the contractor. 'The more accurately all wishes and requirements are described, the smoother the construction phase will be. At this stage, everything is still a plan or drawing, so changes are relatively easy to make. It will get a lot harder once all the orders have been placed and the planning schedule has been submitted', Van Gageldonk explains.
LAB42 is set to be a unique building that should ultimately meet BREEAM-Outstanding standards, an international quality mark for fully sustainable buildings. 'Sustainability is an integral part of the building design. Among other aspects, that means we're focusing on energy efficiency and circularity, which really adds an extra challenge', explains van Gageldonk, who personally supports the decision to opt for sustainability. 'Circularity, the reuse of existing materials, is currently in an experimental phase. As a result, certain circular alternatives are still more expensive or hard to come by. Finding effective, affordable solutions can be a real challenge.' Some examples of the UvA's sustainable choices: 'The building is flexible and can be partly disassembled. We're using prefab floor fields that can also be used elsewhere instead of pouring the floors and walls in concrete. Wherever possible, we're also applying used materials from other buildings, such as cable ducts, or recycled materials such as carpeting made from ocean plastic.'
We're applying BIM (Building Information Modelling) as a part of the construction process. Van Gageldonk enthuses: ‘The designer is building a digital prototype of LAB42, a 3D model. This allows the parties involved in design and realisation to add all sorts of data, ranging from energy efficiency classes to materials and colours. The contractor will be using this model to schedule work, which allows us to keep close track of the latest daily developments. Once the building has been delivered, the UvA can also use the model to develop and update a maintenance plan.'
The specifications have almost been completed. 'Once that phase is finished, we'll start selecting a contractor. We'll be choosing a party with experience in sustainable construction and BIM.' Once actual construction work begins in the summer of 2020, Van Gageldonk will step back to let his colleague - senior project implementation manager Rik Ter Haar - supervise the construction process. 'Rik will also be monitoring all agreements in the areas of quality, planning and progress. In addition to physical inspections at the construction site, he'll also be closely monitoring the BIM model.'